Tip of the hat to Peter Kafka @pkafka:
Things just had to end the way they did for the Red Sox, it’s the natural order of things for the team, the type of epic finale the team is conditioned to deliver to its fans every fall. When the Red Sox win, they pull off the greatest comeback in all time (2004 ALCS v. Yankees) and when they collapse they collapse bigger and more completely than any other team in history (this September’s plunge). I’ve screamed at too many televisions, walked away and ignored the team too many times (only to be sucked back over and over and over) but this time, for the first time since 1967 it felt somehow right, like all was well in the world and life was proceeding according to some unseen plot written by an invisibly cruel author with a sense of melodramatic wit and irony. As it happened, as the thinnest of leads stood in the ninth inning, I knew with 100% certainty how it would end.
And so it ended.
I cheer for Fenway Park, the uniform, the memories of past Gods and all the beserk Massholes who get worked up like the fanatics we are. No need to climb the Mystic River Bridge today and throw ourselves into the dirty water, no need to point fingers, be ashamed, or blog plaintive purple elegies. I just hope this season cleans house and sees certain irritations go away. Namely: the eighth inning singing of Sweet Caroline. I hate this song. To quote my favorite Red Sox blog, Surviving Grady:
What’s the better song: “Sweet Caroline” or “Dirty Water”?
Red: Hey, I like “Dirty Water” as much as the next guy. But it’s played after the Sox win and, let’s face it, they could play “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” and the crowds would groove to it. It takes that Neil Diamond magic to get everyone up and dancing on a two-hundred degree August night.
Denton: “Sweet Caroline” can’t carry “Dirty Water”‘s jock. It was written about a 12-year-old girl for Christ sake. It’s like the pedophile national anthem. By a guy who now dyes his friggin’ chest hair.
Red: Maybe so, but “Sweet Caroline” gets about 15,000 college chicks up and shaking their asses every home game. Anything with that kinda power is down with me.
Denton: “Dirty Water” is a signature song. It means “we won, bitches, please exit our house quietly and respectfully while we proceed to party our winning asses off.” Do you want to hear Neil Diamond when some shitbum team is shutting us out 6-0 in the eighth? Didn’t think so.
Do away with the song, watch me buy a pink hat, kill the Wave, and suck for a few seasons so I can move up the waiting list for season tickets. That’s all I ask.
I’m rooting for the Tigers now.